The LA Rams may seem to be a bit slower paced at the entire training camp cycle than the crash course pace from a year ago, but the team is still looking at facing off against the cross-town rivals LA Chargers on August 14, 2021. Now the only question is, will the team be ready to play? And perhaps more importantly to the fans, who will play in that season opener?
Well, we know for certain that the starters will not appear. So forget seeing any aerial fireworks from veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, deep routes to DeSean Jackson, or huge runs by Darrell Henderson. In fact, you will likely not be seeing many of the players who you will likely see on the season’s Sunday Night Football opener at home against the Chicago Bears.
There are plenty of reasons to tune in for that contest though, in case you were pondering the alternative. For one thing, it will be the first time the LA Rams have played in a preseason game in two years. That in itself is worth the price of admission. Secondly, it will be offensively-minded head coach Sean McVay against defensively-minded head coach Brandon Staley, just months removed from working on the same staff.
Los Angeles Rams
Neither head coach will show much in the way of regular-season strategy, but it will be a worthwhile event in any case. As for me, I will be most interested to see the play of special teams and try to determine if the needle has moved at all in terms of both the coverage units and the return teams. Both areas will need to pick up the pace this year if the team is to have any chance of advancing in the playoffs.
Of course, all of the drafted rookies will be on display, and that will be nice. In fact, I expect that many of last year’s rookies who returned for their second season will be getting plenty of playing time as well. I will be focused on the LA Rams rushing attack, which I expect will be better than many give credit for. I think that the offense will get lots of looks at quarterback Bryce Perkins, and the defense will have a lot of defensive backs jockeying for position.
Depth is critical for a championship team, and depth is what fans will see on August 14. It will be a good contest that I do not expect the Rams to win on the scoreboard. Preseason games are all about tuning up the bottom third of the roster for the upcoming season. That’s what I will be scanning for.
Will the LA Rams be ready for their first preseason game of 2021? I’m not sure. But I can confirm that we will be.